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City lawyer's untimely death due to blundering doctors

View profile for Judith Thomas-Whittingham
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A tragic story has emerged today of a city lawyer who sadly passed away, aged only 48, after doctors failed to identify abnormal cells on seven occasions following routine smear tests.
Mrs Phillips underwent regular smear tests whilst a private patient at a top London Maternity hospital. She learned the importance of undergoing regular smears from her mother who ironically, was a laboratory analyst who specialised in smear tests.
As she entered her forties, Mrs Phillips began to experience irregular bleeding and was advised that this was due to her age. She was subsequently fitted with a coil upon the advice of the clinicians, an ordeal that she found to be extremely painful. It was only later that it would come to light that the coil was pressing on a large tumour causing the immense pain.
In 2006, following a smear, abnormal cells were finally detected and further tests revealed that she had advanced cervical cancer. After a course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy Mrs Phillips passed away in February 2010 aged 48 years. Prior to her death she managed to find the courage to prepare a detailed witness statement detailing her ordeal. She consulted solicitors with her husband and they decided to pursue legal action against the doctors who failed on multiple occasions to diagnose and treat cancer.
The Medical Expert instructed by Mr and Mrs Phillips’ solicitor confirmed that no screener should have missed the abnormal cells. The cancer had gone undiagnosed over a period of 16 years and had been missed by doctors on 7 separate occasions.
The case settled in the high court yesterday (9/11/10) with damages being agreed at £800,000.
Mr Phillips decided to go public with details of his wife’s case in hope that it may avoid other women or families suffering in the same way.
By clinical negligence solicitor, Claire Stockley